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Dredging works for the construction of the Takoradi Integrated Containers and Multipurpose Terminal at the Port of Takoradi has begun.
The construction of the terminal, to be known as Atlantic Terminal, is being done by a wholly Ghanaian company, Ibistek Company Ltd.
The contractor, Jan De Nul, is projecting to finish the work by April 2020 to allow for the commencement of the construction of the quay wall for the terminal.
Jan De Nul commenced dredging works in February, 2020.
A Cutter Suction Dredger (CSD) known as ‘CSD Zhen He‘ is cutting the basin of the sea where the terminal will be constructed to -16 meters.
The dredging will cover an area of 795 meters which constitutes the basin from the bulk jetty to the quay wall of the under-construction terminal.
The reclaimed material will be used to reclaim 62 hectares of land which will be used to host other facilities for the multi-purpose container terminal.
“We started dredging in February. We have commenced cutting of the basin area to -16 meters and practically it will be a basin that will allow very big vessels to come to the area. We have also started cutting trenches for the quay wall at -18.5 meters which is 2.5 meters below the level of the basin. That will be the foundation for the quay wall. We are hoping to finish the dredging works by April this year,” the Project Manager of Jan De Nul, Calin Andreescu, said.
Benefits of -16 depth
Director of Port of Takoradi Captain Ebenezer Afedzie said the terminal when completed will enhance their vision of being a hub and not a feeder port.
“This project is very important to us because for years Takoradi Port has been deemed to be a port only for bulk mineral ore and container vessels and the rest were not coming here as we expected. The reason was our Port had a deepest draft of 10 meters. Now, this terminal we are building is going to have a depth of -16 meters. When we complete, we can bring in ships of up to -16 meters. The quay length for the container terminal is about 800 meters which is almost equal to the length of the old port.”
He added: “At the old port there were few container vessels that were coming into the port. They will queue with general cargo and the rest. Now we are going to have a dedicated 795 meters and -16 meters depth quay for container vessels. So, any container vessel that comes to Takoradi Port after the building of this terminal, will come straight inside the Port.”
According to him, the contractor has assured to work assiduously to be ahead of the scheduled date of completion of the terminal which is third quarter of 2021.
“Apart from the container terminal side, there will be another terminal for multi-purpose cargo. But the focus now is on the terminal side. The timing of completion of work is good. Already, we have started advertising the port and sending messages out that next year we are going to have a brand new terminal. Before this to-be terminal, the highest number of containers we have discharged and loaded at the Takoradi Port is just about 850 to 900 TEU’s. Now, we are hoping that, with the completion of this terminal we are going to have big ships coming with about four to five hundred thousand TEU’s coming to discharge in Takoradi.”
Chief Executive Officer of IBISTEK, the project owners, Dr. Nana Sakyi said the project is currently employing over 400 Ghanaians.
“The contractor currently has almost 400 Ghanaian employers on site. But as the project progresses that number is going to increase. Now we are dredging and when that is done, we are going to move to the next level which is placing of the blocks in the water and that will bring in some more people in addition to what we have now. We are projecting to hit about four million at the peak.”
Dr. Sakyi explained that they have made enough provisions to enable local companies participate fully in the project.
“The project cost is half a billion dollars and phase one is about $210 million which is what work is currently ongoing. Even though most of the money is going to the contractor, the contractor is also paying for supplies from Ghanaian suppliers. So, the aggregates, the sand, cement, labor and everything is local. They are not importing anything. So, if you look at the percentage more than sixty percent is going into the local economy.”
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana